TonidoPlug converts a hard-disk drive to an advanced NAS device. Users will not only be able to access the disk over the internet, but also can access the data using the powerful Tonido application suite. The only way to attach storage to TonidoPlug is using a USB 2.0 enabled external disk. Standard 3.5” or 2.5” disks can be attached to TonidoPlug using specialized enclosures.
Recently we got a chance to try out the the ICY DOCK MB561US-4S-1 enclosure with TonidoPlug. ICY DOCK is one of the top disk drive enclosure manufacturers and they specialize in providing a full spectrum of enclosures utilizing various interface technologies such as eSATA, USB 2.0 etc.
The ICY DOCK enclosure was extremely well packaged and comes with power cable, 1 eSATA cable, 1 USB 2.0 cable and some screws to attach the hard disk. The device looks very good with the aluminum and white plastic body. The enclosure can support upto four 3.5” SATA I/II diskdrives. The drive bays are easy to remove and attaching hard disk is a snap. The ICY DOCK sports a detachable 80mm multi-speed fan to keep the disk drives cool. This enclosure support USB 2.0 and the much faster eSATA interface to connect to the host computer.
At this time TonidoPlug only supports USB 2.0 interface and therefore we will be testing the ICY DOCK with only the USB 2.0 interface.
Two disks tested with ICY DOCK. The first disk is the 1 TB Western Digital’s Caviar Black Edition (7200 RPM, 32MB cache) and the second disk is 1 TB Hitachi Deskstar (7200 RPM, 32MB cache). Both disks were formatted to ext3 filesystem.
We began our testing by attaching the Western Digital disk to the top bay and the rest of drive bays were left empty. The ICY DOCK enclosure was attached to TonidoPlug using the supplied USB 2.0 cable. The drive was detected by the enclosure and TonidoPlug detected the disk and mounted it on /media/disk1part1 directory without any problem.
We then proceeded to test the hot plug functions. We attached the Hitachi Deskstar disk to the second bay. This resulted in TonidoPlug detecting USB unplug event followed by a USB plug event and both the disks were mounted as expected in /media/disk1part1 and /media/disk2part1 directories.
We tested various configurations with the disk and the ICY DOCK performed flawlessly in all configurations.
A quick test using the hdparm utility indicated a healthy 30 MB/s for disk reads on both the disks which is great for a embedded processor based system like TonidoPlug. Both the disks were relatively warm when the fan speed was set to Auto. Once the fan speed was set to high, the disk temperature was brought down closer to the ambient temperature.
ICY DOCK delivers its promise on providing a simple, easy to use, multi drive enclosures that supports hotswapping of harddisks. The supplied eSATA interface makes it future proof as well since it can be connected to computers equipped with the much faster eSATA port (supports hot swapping) as well. Its ease of use combined with the good looks makes it a great addition to any Tonido warrior’s arsenal!
We would like to thank ICY DOCK for providing us with the enclosure to test.